Port of embarkation - Puerto Princesa
Tubbataha Reef is located in the Sulu Sea, at the centre of the Coral Triangle between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Rarely visited by tourists due to its location and its status as a marine preserve, Tubbataha is made up of two reefs, simply referred to as the North and South Reefs. Both reefs enclose a sandy lagoon. On the southern tip is an islet with a lighthouse. This is used as a rookery for birds and is frequented by turtles.
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is quite simply one of Asia's best diving spots and on the 'wish list' for most avid divers. It is home to no less than 573 species of fish, 373 species of corals, 11 species of sharks, 12 species of dolphins and whales, nesting hawksbill and green sea turtles.
Please note that the itineraries are sample itineraries only, and will change depending on weather and logistics at the Captain’s discretion.
Dive Day 1 & 6: Northern tip of North Atoll
Fissures and crevices lead into it where nurse and whitetip reef sharks can be found resting during the day. Small manta rays, stingray’s and spotted eagle rays, together with numerous turtles can usually be found here. The wall has huge gorgonian fan corals, soft corals and barrel sponges. Blacktip, whitetip and grey reef sharks can normally be seen patrolling here in numbers.
Dive Day 2: Southern end of North Atoll
The whole stretch of this face is excellent for diving. A dusk dive here, when the fish are feeding, is an amazing sight. Almost every type of native reef fish can be found here. Invertebrates like sea cucumbers, nudibranchs, flatworms and crinoids are everywhere. Larger fish will be encountered, including giant & blue fin trevally, dogtooth tuna, great and pickhandle barracuda. Manta rays and turtles swim closer to the surface. During low tide a wreck can be seen.
Dive Day 3: Northern tip of South Atoll
The area is particularly renowned for green and hawksbill turtles. There are plenty of schools of reef fish and larger pelagic species including spanish mackerel, blue fin and giant trevally, pickhandle and great barracuda can be seen. Whitetip reef sharks, together with black-blotched stingrays and eagle rays occasionally venture into these waters. When the manta rays show up here they can hang around for hours majestically playing with divers.
Dive Day 4: Southern end of South Atoll
Also known as “The Lighthouse” with impressive views over Tubbataha Reef. Here, there are small reef fish, corals, sponges and anemones with a variety of anemone fish species living in symbiosis.
Dive Day 5: South-eastern part of North Atoll
The dive starts on a gentle slope that is covered in superb untouched corals and ends with a wall covered with dramatic gorgonian fans where sharp eyed divers can often spot pygmy seahorses. If there’s current, you’ll come across a wide variety of large fish, including spanish mackerel, giant trevally, red snapper, napoleon wrasse and giant and malabar groupers.
You’re certain to see whitetip and grey reef sharks. Look out for manta rays, spotted eagle rays and both green & hawksbill turtles closer to the surface. Other fish that can be seen include rainbow runners, african pompano, angel fish, leaf scorpion fish, fire dart fish and, down deeper, decorated dart fish.